The Whiteboard – Part I

It’s Sunday night. Larry is hanging out with his family, winding down after a fun-filled weekend. He and his wife are starting to think about the week ahead, checking emails and seeing what’s in store for them on Monday. The kids are playing in the corner. Larry check’s the clock…It’s 5:15. Hmm, almost time for the CrossFit workouts to be posted for the week. He watches a little bit of TV, scrolls through facebook.

5:50. Maybe the workouts are posted early! He checks Wodify on his phone…Nope, no workouts. He wastes a little more time, wonders into the kitchen, opens the fridge, finds nothing appealing and then goes back to his phone.

5:59, the workouts are up!! Larry sifts through them, he sees some heavy back squats, some clean and jerks, lots of thrusters, wallballs and running. He plans the days he is going to come in, and the days he is going to be conveniently “very busy at work.” He goes on with his evening, has dinner with the family, and gets ready for the week.

Alright, Tuesday is here (couldn’t come Monday, very busy at work, but all those wallballs…sorry to have missed) Larry’s got 10 minutes to build to a heavy clean and jerk, then a benchmark workout, Grace.

The coach goes through the warm-up, the class grabs their barbells and begins building up in the clean and jerk. The coach comes around, and then asks Larry what he wants to hit for the clean and jerk. He scrambles quickly through his head. When was the last time he clean and jerked? What’d he hit?

Larry has no idea, but the coach is standing there waiting for an answer. He shakes his head, “See how it feels I guess,” he says with a bit too much enthusiasm. “What’s your Grace time?” The coach asks. Again he scrambles back through his memory of terrible CrossFit workouts. Has he done Grace before? What is Grace? He looks at the whiteboard. Grace- 30 clean and jerks for time @135/95. Hmm. Sounds familiar. He’s definitely done it. Was it sub 10? Sub 5? He doesn’t know.

I’m going to stop our story there. I think you all know what I’m getting at with Larry here. CrossFit is constantly varied, functional movements, performed at a high intensity. We run long, we run short, we lift heavy and light, we practice gymnastics, we row and swim, we lunge and do burpees for days. CrossFit is measurable fitness.

Maybe when you first started and you saw a workout with 10 burpees at a time you thought you would surely die before the workout was over. Then you do CrossFit for a month, coming 3-4 times/week, and suddenly the thought of 10 burpees in a workout doesn’t scare you so much.

Maybe when you first started the thought of doing a single pull-up seemed so far away. Then a year later you are ripping off 15 at a time. That is all measurable fitness, and that is how you get better. How are you supposed to know how far you’ve come when you don’t write down your scores to see where you began?

Take Larry, a regular Crossfitter who had been coming consistently but still didn’t know what his Grace time was. How was he supposed to know what he was capable of in the workout if he had no idea where he started?

Wodify is such a cool tool we offer at RVC because every single time you come to class you can log our workout. Wodify will draw maps and graphs for you on the progress of your back squat, the progress of your clean and jerk. It will save classic benchmark workouts such as Grace so that you can see what you did last time, and what you want to aim for when the workout comes up again.

If you don’t think you’re seeing progress, check out Wodify, bring up your back squat or your Grace time, see what you did when you first started.

Don’t be like Larry. Log your workout. Not just to see where you name falls on the whiteboard. Log your workout to see where you fall on your personal whiteboard. Are you getting stronger? Are you getting faster? I bet you are.